Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bucking Awesome BACON Jalepeno Popper Dip


2 Reasons I am sharing with you.....
2. I LOVE this recipe and by sharing it on the blog I have it at my fingertips when I need it ;)

B.A. BACON Jalepeno Popper Dip
Party Guests Needed:
-2 bricks cream cheese, softened
-1 cup mayonaise
-3 Jalepenos ( I cut ends off and blend them whole in a food processor thing.  If you want less heat...seed them.  I tell myself that hotter....keeps me from eating as much ;) )
 -1 small can diced green chiles
-1/2 cup Mexican Cheese (grated)
-1/2 cup Motzerella Cheese (grated)
*** 2 Confession:  1. For the top two cheeses....I use whatever cheese is in my fridge.  LOVE Pepperjack & Cheddar too. 2. I rarely measure.  Don't like extra dishes so I just grab a handful of each. Probably closer to a cup of each. 
-1/2 cup Parmesean Cheese (grated)
- 1 Package Bacon (cut into small pieces)

This recipe is fool pretty hard to mess up. 
In a bowl Mix following: (Tip: if you use a glass bowl you can cook in, you don't have to wash a mixing bowl & hold heat really well.  If taking to a party, a disosable pan works too)
Mix: Mexcican Cheese, Motzerella Cheese, Chiles, Jalepenos, Cream Cheese, Mayonaise

Put mixture in cooking pan (9x9 size  or close to that....If you do a longer pan like a 9x12, dip will be thinner ...I think that is my favorite because cheese is crispy on top & bacon is spread farther)
Top with Parmesaem Cheese
Place in oven and BAKE at 375 for 25-30 minutes

Over stove top, cook bacon pieces until crispy.
(I place mine on a paper towel & plate to drain extra fat off)

Sprinkle Bacon over top of dip.
(If sending to someone for "Take & Bake" Dip.  Put Bacon on before cooking, cover dish with aluminum foil and remove foil 5-10 minutes before finished cooking so bacon doesn't get too crispy) 
Serve and Enjoy!
Awww..................This is so dang good!!! (Seriously.....having a hard time focusing!  I may or may not have dripped dip on my computer while trying to taste test while typing....just sayin

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Monday, September 29, 2014

A great day to be THANKFUL

 GREAT DAY take a ride trail some bucking laugh until you cry be silly spend time with loved be thankful

Today I am THANKFUL!!!!
  • Thankful to be alive!
  • Thankful to be healthy!  
  • Thankful for GREAT weather today!  Not to hot or to was just right for a cozy coat and wild rag! 
  • Thankful to be able to ride! 
  • Thankful for gentle broke horses you can trust and just enjoy riding!
  • Thankful for a herd of bucking horses to trail!
  • Thankful for RODEOS and a job for bucking horses!
  • Thankful for pastures full of feed!
  • Thankful for fall rains that soften the feed and green grass popping up! 
  • Thankful to be crammed in a semi sleeper with loved ones! 
  • Thankful for the laughing and play that occurs in tight quarters and on road trips.
  • Thankful for hot meals and cold drinks!
  • Thankful for always having more than enough!
  • Thankful for a great car and the freedom to go anywhere! 
  • Thankful for little brothers leaning their head on your shoulder. 
  • Thankful for cameras! So grateful for moments caught in time and the love captured in a memory
  • Thankful for my phone! Thankful for pictures and texts and calls from people you love.  At any moment, if has the potential to carry a message from people all over the world!
  • Thankful for a 2yr old pooping in the tub.  At the time...had a hard time seeing the silver lining ...BUT it Did GIVE me the motivation to scrub my entire tub.  It is shining, spotless and beautiful! ( That is a rarity here...I never clean.  Confession...Clean to me = you can see the floor of the house in every room)  
  • Thankful for GREAT SADDLES!!!  So honored to be able to ride a Harwood saddle.  Reguardless of how often it gets used.  Always feels like royalty when you get to set in the seat. 
  • Thankful for Kilgore and the simple beauty of every view. 
  • Thankful for Good nights & I love yous 

    So many more blessings I could much to be thankful for it will take me more than a lifetime!


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  • p.s. Here is a few more of my favorite things
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Spills, Thrills, and Wagon Trains!!!!

I must apologize.  This was a FABULOUS day and it took me over a year to share it with you.  I don't know why because I told it and re-told it in preson and on the phone. When I set down to write I just didn't know where to start.  Finally, I got the key pad moving! Hold on!  It is a wild ride!

Spills, Thrills, and Wagon Trains............

Grand Adventures…..that is the best way to sum up time with my father. 
You can almost guarantee…regardless of what he says…it will be an ALL DAY event.   Always dress for ANYTHING.  Protective clothing like boots and long sleeve shirts recommended. 

This very adventure would be right along those lines.  Dad stopped in at the house.  He was going to help some friends hook a team of horses…2 across and 2 deep.  (Keep in mind…he’d never done this before but he was going to help them) Now, Dad does have a lot of experience with teams.  He uses them to feed help every winter and now even as part of his summer employment. 

He offers the invitation to go and I accept.  Let the adventure begin.  I have a new big camera and this seems like a GREAT opportunity to use it. 

We arrive and I quickly notice that I am a party crasher : ) This is a “guys club” day.  I only know a few of the guys.  They are all so excited, conversing about the best ways to go about hooking the horses.  I sit back soaking it all in.

They were very kind and let me tag along…camera in tow.  (hahaha…I don’t think they knew what to think about me…especially when I jogged ahead of the team to get the shot I wanted)

Ok ok!  You know my Dad is notorious for wrecks and I know you are anxiously waiting to hear about the wreck the unfolded when they took off with the team.  I was too!!!  I walked a LONG ways away  to get starting pictures just so I didn’t get ran over.  (I didn’t get my “I survived the Hoggan Ranch t-shirt for nothing)   Well, much to my surprise…..they started off like seasoned professionals, not even a bobble!  Well broke horses and well mannered as could be. (No, I am not accustomed to this kind of horse ; )

Taking Off

That's right...they hooked 4 up and they started PERFECTLY!!!!  Drove out through the desert like they'd been doing it everyday. That's right....4 head of horses....5 cowboys...and 2 Wagons.......and it went smooth as can be!  See.....

About now you are wondering…..Mindy.....really….why are you wasting my time right now.  You had a great time with cool guys…..great but….really?!?!?  No, “Hoggan Wreck”??? 

Ok….you got me!     

Changing of the guard and heading home.  Drivers swapped around.  Everyone took a turn being part of the legendary day. 

The lead horses tuckered out from the jog out to open country.  They've made quite the trek today.  One minute we are cruising along like a Sunday Drive.....and seconds later we are messed up like seven days from sunday! 

Tangled in a mess of leather lines and horse flesh, the guys jump into action!  The paint is down and crushing the wagon tongue.  They work quickly to get everything up right and in working order.  (We are a LONG ways from home to have to walk ;)  I hop down to help also but before I do...I very carefully take off my fancy camera.  Incase, I get pawed in the head or something.....I don't want my camera to get hurt. 
Luckily, I'm with a very capable crew!  Horses are up right and safe in moments.  The tongue is bent back into shape and horses hooked again.  They switched the set of lead horses to the fresher set and once again we are headed home. 

As you can see, the lead horses are fresh and ready to go.  Dad and Pat are each driving a team at the lead wagon.  I am standing up at the front with them. The rest of the crew is sitting in the second covered wagon. Both wagons are equipped with brakes.  We cruising along at a decent pace across the desert road.  Pretty soon....we are gaining speed....and more speed and more speed.  Dad has me on the brake by us...soon I am full on standing on the brake, for all I'm worth.  Dad's eyes are getting bigger as he's hollering for the back wagon to give us some brake!  However, the guys in the back just think we are fine because Dad is still smiling and laughing.  (Yes, it was more of a scared Whoa....we are in trouble boys)
Soon we resemble an amusement park ride blazing across the rocky desert road!  The wagons are bouncing up and down wildly!  We are headed straight for a narrow steel post gateway.  (Sidenote...on the way out before...I thought...This is a narrow spot to get through with such a big set up. Increase are speed by ten fold....I was pretty sure it was going to be real bad!) Mach 9....wagons flailing through the air....we make it through the posts.  Our load of hay bales and passengers are being tossed about.  Hay bales bouncing higher than my head and off out through the brush behind us!  Out of the corner of my eye....I see MY CAMERA fly off the wagon with a load of hay!  I hop off the wagon at probably 35 mph chasing after it!  I find it lying back on the dusty trail.  The lens has came off and lying a ways away.  (I gathered it up and I'll tell you what I told the guys....I don't want to talk about it)

They got the team back under control and we continued our trip home.  By the time we got back to roads, everyone was being a model citizen.  Horses were tired and working like well mannered professionals again.

All's well that ends well right ;) ....such an amazing day!  A day spent with true LEGENDS!  So grateful for time spent.  Oh camera survived too!  Little dirt in my zoom of my fancy lends but the camera body was good!  So lucky and grateful!!!
Moral of the Story = Memories are PRICELESS.  That being said, whenever you are with Dad there WILL BE a good photo op.....and You should NEVER take your big is not safe!
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SUMMER ESSENTIALS with Cow Camp Remedies

Keep summer fun sizzling with doTERRA Essential Oils!  Today, I would like to share some natural solutions with essential oils for common summer First Aide concerns!

What is an Essential Oil?
Essential Oils are the natural aromatic compounds found in flowers, leaves, stems, bark, and the roots of plants.  Essential Oils are nothing less than Nature's Medicine Cabinet.  In comparison, modern medicine is designed to treat symptoms but essential oils help minimize symptoms and address the causes.  They are made from Hundreds of plant components that enhance physical and emotional health. Essential Oils are safe, inexpensive for use, and very effective in offering real people health care solutions."
*LEARN MORE here :

Have you ever used essential oils?  Did you know that essential oils can provide an aresal of natuaral solutions to keep your summer fun sizzlin! 

Did you know Peppermint Essential Oil has hundreds of uses!  Peppermint can aide with Sore muscles, fresh breathe, food and DRINK flavoring, stay alert, cooling, car sickness, tummy troubles.... the list goes on and on.  Click here to see more uses:
Here are my summer favorites:
Peppermint Cooling Mist: Can be used to cool down on hot summer days! Favorite on the rodeo trail!!!
Simply add 10-12 drops of Peppermint to a spritzer top bottle, pinch of epson salt, and fill with water.   Shake before use. 
(CLASS TIP: This is a great demo item for a personal oil experience.  Especially if you are in a warm outdoor setting)
Peppermint Beadlets: Stay COOL with a peppermint beadlet!  Great for freshing breathe also helpful for keeping you cool from the inside too!

Who has got that 1st SUNBURN of the Summer????  Seem like it always gets you at least once as the days start to heat up. 
SUNBURN SPRITZER ~ Spritzer bottle with Lavender, Mellaluca, Peppermint, 8 drops each.  Pinch of Epsom salt and fill remainder with water.  Spritz on Sunburn frequently for cooling relief.  ( I like to add Frankincense to mine also)
Another recipe you might like to try:
Sunburn Spritzer by Amber Clark

Now that Mother Nature has reminded you of the strength of her rays, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN!!! 

DIY SUNSCREEN ~ Natural solutions Suncreen Recipe
1 tube dōTERRA Spa Hand and Body Lotion
12 drops of dōTERRA Helichrysum essential oil
2 tablespoons of zinc oxide
(see full directions and recipe here:

HELICHRSYUM Oil is also great for bloody noses and a definate alley for your First Aide Kit!

What about BUG BITES?  PURIFY essential oil to the rescue!  Purify can ease pain, itching, and discomfort

How can we avoid that situation again????  BUG REPELLANT!!!!  
TERRASHIELD Essential Oil!!! 
A proprietary blend of natural, safe and potent essential oils to keep bugs away NATURALLY!!!  Can be applied topically straight from the bottle or with a convenient spray top.  I think it smells great too!!!  More info here:

Last but certainly not least,  All Purpose Healing Salve!!!  Great for Cuts, Scrapes, Dry Skin and so so much more!  Awesome "go to" remedy for so many situations.  Click here for MORE WOUND CARE RECIPES and the All Purpose Healing Salve Recipe :

1  Cup Coconut Oil
1  Cup Olive Oil
4  T. Beeswax Pastilles
Slowly melt the coconut, olive oil and beeswax in a warm bath, stirring with a knife every few minutes until melted.  While waiting for the melt, line up four 4 oz jam jars with your essential oils nearby.  
Add the essential oils to each jar before filling.
8 drops Lavender
6 drops Lemon
4 drops Melaleuca

Enjoy this FREE ONLINE CLASS with more great SUMMER Essential Oil Tips
Summer Time Oils Webinar:
Would you like to learn more in a person??? Schedule a LIVE class with the me today and learn more natural solutions for you and your loved ones! 

THANK YOU for joining the Gypsy Trail with me today to learn some Natural Solutions for your SUMMER!!!!  Grateful for your company!  Take this knowledge and start utilizing essential oils in your home today! 
Cow Camp Remedies :

How to BUY doTERRA Essential Oils & SAVE 25%
Click here for purchasing information :
What's in it for me?
By purchasing your doTERRA Oils from the Cow Camp retail site or becoming a member of the Cow Camp team, You enable me to be able to share more about these amazing doTERRA Oils and Natural Solutions for health care!  THANK YOU for your business! 

THANK YOU Again for stopping by to visit.  Hope to see you again soon.
Happy Trails ~ Mindy

  • Want to learn more! Cow Camp Remedies MASTER LIST of doTERRA Essential Oils Posts

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    ****doTERRA does not treat, cure, or prevent disease.  Lifestyle choices can help prevent disease.
    The information contained on this newsletter is for informational uses only and should not be construed as medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Say CHEESE!!!!!" Ballard Cheese

Ballard Cheese
MORE CHEESE PLEASE!!!!  .......these are the words that will be echoing throughout a room the second  a slice of delicious Ballard Cheese hits your taste buds!!!! 
In my travels, I was LUCKY enough to be served Ballard Cheese at a doTERRA Essential Oil Class I was teaching.  Needless to say.....I instantly knew I had to SHARE with you all!!!!  

Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese Factory not only makes the most delicious cheese I've ever tasted but they are also a small IDAHO family business!  Ballard's were kind enough to let me come visit and I am so excited to be able to share with you a glimpse!  

Arriving at Ballard's Cheese Factory,  I was met with a warm welcome from the matriarch of the family, Stacie Ballard.  Tuesdays are BUSY!!!!  Daughter, Jessica Brockman, was hard at it beside cow-workers, Jane and Rabecca.  Huge THANK YOU to the entire family for taking the time to visit with me!!!! 

That was the my 1st lesson....LOTS of hard work goes into making these handmade specialty cheese.  Mondays usually start at 3:45 AM to pull milk and start pasteurization process and go until 8pm.  While I was there they were packaging cheese curds. Click here to see How the Cheese is Made!  :

The ladies shared a few BALLARD EMPLOYEE FAVORITES while we visited

  • Rabecca's favorite: Tomato Basil Cheese Curds (shown above) or Plain Curds warm out of the vats.  They are creamy, salty, and yum yum yum!!!!
  • Jessica's Favorite: Garlic Pepper Curds
  • Jane's Favorite: Ranch Curds
  • Stacie's Favorite.....She LOVES them all!  That is why she makes them!!!
    She did share a couple tasty recipes she likes! 
    * Homemade Mac & Cheese starring White Cheddar, Danish Pearl, and Pepper Cheddar
    * Garlic Curds with sausage for AMAZING Breakfast Burritos!
    Click here for more recipes to try:

HAPPY COWS at Ballard Cheese Factory
As good as this cheese is I was even more impressed with this IDAHO Business!!!  Not only do they strive to make a quality handmade Idaho product but they also BUY IDAHO!! They milk about 70 head of 100% Jersey cows.  Raise all their young stock. Ballard's also raise some of their own hay and buy locally for the rest.   They have been recognized for going above and beyond to with efficiency, sustainability, and green awards.  Cutting back water and propane use considerably! Learn more here :

Feeding, Raising, and Buying IDAHO HAY!!!
As I mentioned before...I'd tried Ballard Cheese before.  That is why I wanted to share with you all in the 1st place.  Well, It wasn't until the preparation for this little blog that I would fully appreciate the AMAZINGNESS that Ballard's Handmade Specialty Cheeses offers! 
Click here for CHEESE TIPS :
They were very helpful for me when serving and storing these delicious cheeses!

The TASTE TESTS.....Dining in head 1st with cheese tasting, trying, experimenting, savorying, and ENJOYING!!!!  Here are some of our favorites....but don't take my word for it....order a selection of these DELICIOUS Ballard Cheese's and TRY them for yourself!!!!!
Ballard Grilling Cheese
GRILLING CHEESE Salad ~ Ballard Cheese's Grilling Cheese paired with fresh greens, juicy tomatoes, ripe strawberries, and drizzled with a Rasberry Vingerette & Green Chili dressing! Sweet & SPICY deliciousness!

Ballard Grilling Cheese was my favorite before I started this article and if I only could only have ONE cheese.....It would probably still be the grilling cheese. Seriously, look at it in the doesn't get much better than that.  Great on sandwiches, salads, and well.....everything I've tried!  It is so fabulous, versatile, and tasty!  Lucky for me, there are no cheese restrictions...and I can try any cheese I want! 

Let the test testing begin!  I must give a shout out to my awesome neighbors who came over for a night of CHEESE, CHEESE, and More CHEESE!!!  They were great sports for trying anything I served and giving great feedback!  Just when we thought there was a was blown out of the water by the next!

  • JP Picks ~ Baby Swiss, great taste and aged well.
    Idaho Jersey Dream, Creamy deliciouseness that melts in your mouth!
    Favorite Curds ~ Pepper and Garlic, squeaky and so good!!!
  • Houston Picks ~  I like it all!!!  Gouda and Green Apple, Feta, Pepper and Garlic Curds.
    ***Asparagus and Parmarono!!!
  • William Picks ~Parmarono.  Favorite Curds: Pepper and Garlic
 Danish Pearl Gouda paired with a Green Apple ...SURPRISINGLY DELIGHTFUL!  Light and spunky, the flavors complimented each other well!  New favorite appetizer!  (Easy, just the way I like it!)
Parmarono finely grated and melted to perfection over asparagus!  It was so good it went from side dish to appetizer because we couldn't wait to eat it!!
Creamy Tortellini Soup with Ballard Parmarono Cheese
 Creamy Sausage Tortelini Soup topped with PARMARONO grated over ......drooling just thinking about it!

 Ballard Cheese' Idaho Jersey Dream Feta is creamy & AMAZING paired with fresh greens, juicy tomatoes, ripe strawberries, and drizzled with a Rasberry Vingerette & Green Chili dressing! Sweet & SPICY deliciousness!
Ballard's Baby Swiss Melted over hot roast beef!   As you can see....with this fine cheese....the sky is the limit and they take good food and make it AMAZING!!!!!

I Double Dog Dare YOU to pick a FAVORITE Cheese!  Stacie is right.....they are all so amazing!!!  Just when you think that it can't get any will perfectly pair a culinary creation with a Ballard Cheese....aww...SO YUMMY!!!  TRY them ALL
Full list of cheeses! :
"cheddar cheese products range from fresh out of the vat cheese curds to rich and
mellow aged cheddar cheese, we have our
Danish Pearl which is creamy melt in your
mouth, some new one are
Golden Greek (grillin' cheese) .New 2010 Award
 Truffle Cheddar!  Of course, we like to spice things up a bit for you with our
popular variety cheeses curds such as Garlic Herb, Garlic Pepper, Cool Ranch,
Tomato & Basil, Dill, Hot & Spicy Pepper and of course Plain.
" Ballard Cheese

BUY IDAHO ~ Get your BALLARD Cheese TODAY!!!! 
Click here for ordering :

BUY LOCAL: Here is a list of Retailers you can buy Ballard Cheese from in your town! :

If you don't have a retailer locally caring the Ballard Cheese.......Ask your local grocer to carry it!!!! 
 THANK YOU for traveling the gypsy trail with me today!  Hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse at BALLARD CHEESE!!!!  Show them so LOVE!  Visit them on facebook and give them a LIKE!  Tell them Mindy sent ya ;) : 

Happy Trails,
  • Rodeo Tales & Gypsy Trails
    is proudly brought to you by
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    THANK YOU for shopping small! You, our loyal customers, are the driving force behind our small business. Thank you for your patronage and continued support. We are honored to be able to provide quality goods and look forward to serving you again in the future. ~ Mindy
    Visit us ONLINE!!